Colombo Port will have trouble providing welfare facilities to employees: Minister

Arjuna-ranatunga

Dec 21, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Minister of Port and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga had yesterday revealed that even though the annual income is 29 billion rupees, the Authority will have difficulties when providing welfare facilities to its employees.

“Colombo port receives 29 billion rupees of annual income. However there is a significant portion from the earnings has to be allocated to cover the debt loans of Hambantota port.  So we are in big trouble when providing welfare facilities to the employees who are working at Colombo port.” Arjuna Ranatunga, Minister of Port and Shipping had said.

However, Ranatunga said that he would further discuss the matter with  the President, Prime Minister and the Finance Minister in order to take actions to reduce the debt payments of Hmbantota port.

Speaking at the celebration of achieving five million containers arriving at the Colombo port the minister said they are planning to bring the port among the world’s top 20 ports by the end of 2016.

Ranatunga said that the set targets could be able to achieved by finishing the constructions of Eastern terminal of the Colombo port.

“Our target is to increase the container arrivals in the Colombo port by 10 percent by the end of next year. However if we could able to complete the constructions of Eastern terminal, we could boost the amount up to 25 percent.” Ranatunga said.

Minister further went on to say that the set targets were achieved while facing lots of barriers with the available facilities at the Colombo port.

“Though we are still continuing operations using old equipment and machines, the production capacity per hour has been increased from 19 containers to 29 containers. We achieved all those targets by getting the valuable support from our team,” Minister added.